Mayor Lee Announces Microsoft Technology Grant at Launch of Bridge to Success Summer Program

Microsoft Donates Computers and Software to Support SFUSD Students Transitioning to College

06/13/11—Today Mayor Edwin M. Lee and Microsoft announced a technology grant of $500,000 in software and $15,000 in computers that will directly support the students of the Bridge to Success Summer Program and San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) schools. This is the first year of the Bridge to Success Summer Program, a 6-week summer transition program for historically underrepresented, low-income and first-generation SFUSD high school graduates who plan to enroll at City College of San Francisco (CCSF) in the fall. The summer program is being run by Beyond 12, a nonprofit supporting college completion.

“We are truly grateful to Microsoft for their generous donation in support of our summer program and SFUSD schools,” said Mayor Lee. “We are here today with our next generation of innovators and leaders, but they need the tools to help them achieve those dreams.  Together with the Bridge to Success Summer Program and the computers from Microsoft we hope to give them the skills they need to succeed.”

In addition to the traditional barriers these students face, they also lack the resources to bridge the technology gap in an age when a laptop is considered an essential college success tool.  Microsoft has recognized this gap both for students in this program and in SFUSD more broadly which lead to today’s donation.

“Research shows that jobs in California increasingly require a college degree, yet high school and college dropout rates, particularly among students from low income households, remain high.  We believe technology is the key to helping students improve their learning and gain the skills necessary to succeed in a globally competitive workplace,” said Microsoft U.S. Education West Region General Manger Kristin Rhodes. “This donation supports our goal of helping to bolster and secure a bright future for the summer program students and the communities of San Francisco Unified School District.”

Over the course of the program, students will have the opportunity to take academic courses at CCSF, participate in workshops on various college-success related topics, and receive personalized coaching from recent college graduates.  The donation from Microsoft will provide laptops for the highest performing students in the summer program as well as provide software for schools and teachers throughout SFUSD.

If current trends continue in San Francisco, only 27 percent of current 9th graders will receive a post-secondary degree, and the figure is 10 percent for African American, Latino, and Pacific Islander students. By bringing together technology tools with strong programming, the Bridge to Success Summer Program and Microsoft aim to change those statistics.